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70 Years of Friendship shaping the Future

Published Wednesday October 10 2018

The Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in New Delhi launched a logo, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Information and Press Service of the Government, to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Diplomatic relations between the Governments of India and Luxembourg.

The official Communiqué dated 1 July 1948 reads:

The Government of India and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg have decided to establish diplomatic relations at Legation level and are confident that the friendly relations already existing between them will thereby be further strengthened to their mutual benefit”.

On 5 November 1929, Luxembourg established a Honorary Vice-Consulate in Bombay and appointed Dr Alphone Als, director of the Belgian Manufacturers Corporation, as the Honorary Vice-Consul. Besides its Honorary Consulate in Mumbai, Luxembourg now also has Honorary Consuls in Kolkata and Chennai. In 2019, we are going to commemorate the 90th Anniversary of Luxembourg’s first presence in India.

The resident Embassy was inaugurated in New Delhi on 27 February 2002. Ambassador Paul Steinmetz opened the Embassy and served in Delhi from 2002 to 2007. He was followed by Ambassador Marc Courte (2007-2011), Ambassador Gaston Stronck (2011-2014) and Ambassador Sam Schreiner (2014-2018). The current 5th Ambassador Jean Claude Kugener presented his Letter of Credence to the President of the Republic of India Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 20 September 2018.

These 70 years of bilateral relations between both countries have been marked by High level visits. It is worth recalling a few of them: From 14 to 21 May 1995, His Royal Highness the Hereditary Grand Duke Henri, and current Grand Duke of Luxembourg, presided an economic mission to India. In 1998, the President of India and Mrs Shri K.R. Narayanan undertook a State Visit in Luxembourg. In January 1999, the Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker paid an official visit following the invitation by his Indian counterpart Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Minister of External Affairs Smt Sushma Swaraj received the Luxembourg Foreign Minister Mr Jean Asselborn in March 2015 and Minister of Finance Shri Arun Jaitley received the Deputy Prime Minister Mr Etienne Schneider in Delhi in March 2016.

In the context of the 70th Anniversary of the Diplomatic Relations between India and Luxembourg, the Minister of External Affairs of India, Smt Sushma Swaraj visited Luxembourg on 19 – 20 June 2018. She had an audience with H.R.H. the Grand Duke at the Palace and held meetings with the Prime Minister Mr Xavier Bettel and her Luxembourg counterpart, Mr Jean Asselborn, to discuss our strong bilateral relations.

Strong Partners

Over the years, India and Luxembourg have nurtured strong economic bonds. Luxembourg ranks as 16th largest Foreign Direct Investor in India and has large economic and commercial bilateral ties with India. Among the large amount of Luxembourg industries and companies, large and small, active with and in India, to highlight only a few: the world’s largest steel producer Arcelor-Mittal is headquartered in Luxembourg after its merger with Arcelor in 2006. Based in Luxembourg since its creation in 1870, the international engineering company Paul Wurth is present in India since 1993, the first Asian subsidiary of the Group. India being its 2nd most important market after the European Union, Paul Wurth is involved in a number of ambitious blast furnace construction projects all over the country.

The Luxembourg headquartered and the world-leading satellite operator Sociéte Européenne de Satellites (SES) is currently operational with 5 satellites over India. Ceratizit, which has been developing and producing sophisticated hard material cutting and wear protection solutions since 95 years, has a constantly growing presence in India with a few production sites. Amer-Sil, the reputed specialist for separators and gauntlets in industrial lead acid batteries merged in 2015 with Ketex to become Amer-Sil Ketex Ltd and has 3 factories in India specializing in making industrial lead acid battery components. The Luxembourg-based dredging company Jan De Nul has many projects ongoing in Indian ports.

The Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE) listed its first Masala bond in 2008 and the number of INR denominated debt securities has gradually increased ever since. A large number of Indian issuers have chosen the LuxSE to list their debt securities on an international market. There is still a large potential for India and Luxembourg to work together in innovative areas such as Fintech, ICT, bio-health, eco-innovation, but also the automotive sector.   

Cultural and People-to-People Bonds

Over the last couple of years, Luxembourg has attracted a vibrant and growing Indian community. Many Indian citizens work in financial services, IT, but also other sectors in the service industry. The Diwali celebrations have become a well-known event even among Luxembourgers. The sculpture of Mahatma Ghandi by the Indian modernist sculptor Amarnath Sehgal is a very prominent landmark in Luxembourg City’s central Park. Mr Sehgal had a rich and sustained relationship with Luxembourg for almost 40 years and he had his first solo exhibition at the National Museum of Art in 1966. Films produced in Luxembourg are regularly shown at Indian film festivals and acknowledge a great interest and big success. 

Despite the difference in size between both countries, the ever-increasing political, economic, financial, cultural and people-to-people bonds between the two countries are promising for the next decades of friendship.

The logo to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between India and Luxembourg has been created in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Information and Press Service of the Luxembourg Government.

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